Want to be a smarter medical consumer?

by Emma Carew

So, we’ve all seen those adverts for those "life-saving" drugs with their flashy statistics about how taking X pill or getting Y shots will just save thousands upon thousands of people from a painful and untimely death, disease.

 But very rarely do we get the full picture. Time magazine has a review of a new book today, Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics, by Drs. Steven Woloshin, Lisa Schwartz and H. Gilbert Welch.They talk about absolute risk versus relative risk, something University of Minnesota professor Gary Schwitzer discusses on his Health News Review blog, along with other behind-the-scenes type looks at medical research and statistics.

Pills, scans, deaths… they’re all frequently misconstrued by advertising and sent out in fancy press releases. Covering the health beat, it’s tough sometimes to wade through (but I’m trying!)

Go out and get yourselves educated, folks.